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S: Love - Year One

FC: Love.. By Maura Elizabeth Karas

1: Love. Year One July 2010-July 2011 | By Maura Elizabeth Karas

2: And think not you can Direct the course of love, For love, If it finds you worthy, Directs your course. ~ Gibran Kahlil Gibran ~

3: For John | You are my best friend, my soul mate. Thank you for who you are and what you've given to me. I love this journey that we started.

4: 9 "So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. 11 "Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!" Luke 11:9-11 | On Saturday, July 24, 2010, I sat at 5:30 mass and listened to this Gospel being read. I took in the words, and I thought about my life, how blessed I was to have a wonderful family, great friends, a job I loved, and a nice place to live. But I also I thought about my love life and all of the not quite right connections I'd had. It was very clear to me that while I had a great life, there was one prayer, my loudest most frequent prayer, that God always seemed to ignore. I looked at Jesus on the wall, who was looking down at me, and said to him, "Seriously what gives? I've been asking. I've been knocking. I've been seeking and yet where IS he?" I left church feeling as though my prayers were falling on deaf ears. Little did I know what God had planned for later that night... | Saturday, July 24, 2010

5: I wanted to go out to hear live music. Mara suggested Pancho's. I'd never gone there on a Saturday night, despite hearing that I'd like the band. My experience at church had left me feeling rather introspective so I wasn't completely in a "go-out" mood. When we got there, the band was awesome but loud, so I just wanted to sit and enjoy it. I wasn't feeling flirtatious or overly social. I figured I'd stay out until around midnight and then head home. As we looked at the crowd, Laura asked me if I liked the looks of any of the men there. I said, "No. Not a one." The guy next to me wanted to buy me a drink, and I said, "No thank you. I'm not into drinking tonight." | And then, everything changed. As I looked at the overly crowded room, my eyes turned to the door when you were walking in. I remember looking at you. I said to Laura, "You see that guy right there? I like the looks of him." As you continued into the room you came right past me, and to my surprise our eyes met and you stopped. You said, "Hi." I said, "Hi." Then, you pointed at me and said, "Don't go anywhere, I'll be right back." You came right back and didn't leave my side again. We tried to talk over the band, but it was tough since it was so loud. I joked that we should text instead and that's when you got my number.

6: I learned the basics about you in that first conversation- that you live in the mountains but spend weekends at the beach, that you have a daughter, and that you work at a ski resort (though admittedly I thought you were a ski instructor or something like that). Soon your friends wanted to leave and go to Upper Manhattan Lounge, the bar across the street. You asked me to come. I remember saying "No thank you" because I was certain that my friends weren't going to leave. Ditching my friends and following a new guy to a different bar would been breaking several dating rules. You asked again, and I really did want to go, so I asked Mara and Laura if we could leave. Not surprisingly, Mara said "No," but Laura said, "No, but YOU can go." I thought, "I can go? Really?" It seemed like such a bad idea, so out of character for me, but yet I couldn't help myself. So, off I went...with you | Upper Manhattan

7: As you led me by the hand through the bar, a guy stopped you, gave you a guy-hug then said to me as I passed, "You've got a good man right there." "Interesting," I thought. You said to me, "Would you like a drink or would you like to dance?" I said, "Whatever you want." You said "Let's dance," and you led me to the dance floor. It was on that dance floor that you kissed me for the first the first time. After dancing, we stood so very close together. You asked me if I wanted to go to the beach the next day. I told you that I'd like that. As the evening came to an end, Jack asked you what you were going to do. You looked at me and said, "I'm going to walk her to her...." "Cab," I said. "Cab," you said. "I'm going to walk her to a cab." You put me in the cab and then you did something that took me by complete surprise: you asked if I needed some money to get home. Of course I said "No thank you" but I thought that that was the most gentlemanly, chivalrous question I'd ever been asked. I was so impressed by you! To top it off, halfway home, you sent me a text, telling me to let you know that I got home OK. | "Soul meets soul on lovers' lips" ~Percy Bysshe Shelly

8: I woke up the next morning not sure what the day would bring. I didn't know when or if I'd hear from you. I went for a run and before long, you sent me a text. You said you were on the beach with your friends (Dave and Kristy), and you asked me to come. Again, going by myself to meet a guy and his friends was very out of character for me. I asked a few friends if they wanted to come, but they did not. So, if I wanted to see you, I had to go alone. Nervous, I went. We had such a nice time on the beach. The weather was overcast but it didn't matter. We talked and played bocce (we got killed!). Dave and Kristy asked if we wanted to join them for a movie but you said that you already had dinner plans. The four of us ended up going to Hennessey's for a bit. We had sandwiches and talked. Then you asked if I wanted to go with you to another friend's house for dinner. I didn't realize it but you had been texting Jack, telling him you were with me. He said, "Bring her."

9: Sunday, July 25 | Again, you had me throw aside all of the dating rules when you asked me to go. My better judgment told me to politely decline and wait for you to ask me out again. Normally I would have said "No thank you." However, I couldn't help myself. I didn't want to leave your side. I went home, took the quickest shower of my life, and came back to meet you. I followed you to Jack's place. Again, nervous as I was entering a party of strangers, something about being with you calmed me. Everyone was so kind and made me feel completely comfortable. As I did the dishes with Jack, he told me what a good and honest man you are. When the evening came to an end, you asked me for a date the next Friday. I told you I was supposed to go away but I wasn't sure....

10: Our first date: July 30, 2010. You made dinner reservations at Izakawa in Manhattan Beach (I was so impressed!). I loved how you called before picking me up to tell me what you were wearing. I had planned to wear a dress but then worried that I would be overdressed. I ended up going out and buying a new outfit for our date. Dressy but not too dressy. When you told me you were wearing linen pants, I ended up in the dress I originally wanted to wear. We were on the same wave-length from that very first night. We ate amazing sushi. I remember talking and laughing, being a little nervous and perfectly at peace all at once. We went to 12 and Highland for a bit. It was so crowded that we couldn't dance or even talk. We walked to Rock n Fish - which was dead. We stood close together and you told me you have never felt so comfortable with anyone in all your life. | 1 | Friday, July 30

11: Our first date became our first weekend... We rode bikes to Six-Man Tournament on Saturday, starting at Dave and Kristy's house. We had sushi at Sashi in Manhattan Beach. We sat with a group but were in our own little world. As we sat there with everyone else talking, we played "Vampire or Werewolf" as we looked at the people in the world outside of our own. | The next day we ended the weekend with a concert in Pollywog Park.

12: If I know what love is, it is because of you. ~Herman Hesse

13: We had so many fun times through the summer and fall. We had concerts on the beach and in the park We saw the Chargers lose and the Angels win. We had did dinners and tapas. We drank tons of champagne.

14: On the night of your Season Pass Party, we were home getting showered and you said to me, "I believe I've fallen in love with you." My heart melted. I said, "I believe I've fallen in love with you too." You said, "Then I guess we just have to live happily ever after." | August 28

15: We fell in love so quickly and so deeply. We were unable to get enough of each other, constantly on each others' mind. I called us an anomaly. You told me so often that you'd never felt like this before and that you'd never loved anyone else so much. | You were nervous that we would "burn out quickly" because our fire was so bright and so strong so fast. But yet, it kept getting stronger, and we quickly understood our destiny together. | 2 am balcony dates | I just got your note. I loved it. Don't ever stop writing me notes. Because they make my day. John

16: Labor Day Weekend began with Happy Hour

17: Then, we were off to the Races,,,, We dressed up and took a train ride to Del Mar with Jack, Janelle, Dave and Kristy.

18: You became "my DJ" and gave our love a wonderful soundtrack

19: Muse | September 25

20: Our First Trip to Pennsylvania | Our first trip got off to an interesting start. We got to the airport and realized that while we had tickets we had no assigned seats. We sat nervously as they filled the plane. It turned out that we got bumped. We ended up on a different flight on a different airline. We arrived to PA a few hours late but we got all of our money back on our tickets! | October 8-11

21: We went with Kristen, Chris, Nick, Jess and the kids to a pumpkin festival. We rode a wagon into the field and picked pumpkins. We ended the weekend with Sunday dinner at my parents,playing bocce and just hanging out. | You got to meet my family and my friends. You got to experience first hand the craziness of the restaurant. It was IUP Homecoming Weekend so the town was busier than normal. We watched the parade and even made a trip "uptown."

22: Halloween

23: We were supposed to party with your friends on Halloween-(with all of you dressed as fast food characters). Plans changed though and we were on our own. We went to a huge party at the Crowne Plaza hotel in Redondo. We got a ton of attention, with me as Lady Gaga, and you as Colonel Sanders (guys and fat girls LOVED you). You even found a fast food crew. By the end of the night my feet were so sore that you carried me home.!

24: The first weekend of November you introduced me fully to your world. I met Maddison, your parents and a group of your San Diego friends. We started the weekend early Saturday morning at Maddison's soccer game. I was so nervous to meet her! The car ride to San Diego was definitely interesting as we sat in the car, not knowing what to make of each other. I can only wonder what was going on in your mind as you brought together your two favorite girls. We had lunch at the Hotel Del that afternoon and saw a movie. We spent the night and Sunday afternoon at your parents' house. We finished the weekend at your Fiji movie viewing party with your surfing friends. | November 6-7

25: The relationship between Maddison and I wasn't quite so simple. We are two women brought together not by our own choice but by default. At the beginning we had thing in common: our love for you. We both crave your attention and affection and we learned that sharing can be difficult. It was when we had some time spent alone together, to be girls, that our true relationship began and our affection for each other was given an opportunity to grow. As with any relationship ours too will take nurturing and time to grow and bloom. As the seeds have begun to sprout, I'm becoming more and more aware that not only are you and I good for each other but Maddison and I are really good for each other as well. I look forward to three of us being a family and loving your child as my own. | When you and I fell in love not one relationship was formed but two. You and I instantly connected, choosing each other from all of the others in the world.

26: We went to Vegas to work a convention with Kim and her guy-friend. | We stayed at the Golden Nugget. We worked during the day but had plenty of time for fun. | November 18-21

27: LAS VEGAS

28: Kami's Annual Christmas Party | December 9

29: Festival of Lights | Riverside CA

30: KROQ's Almost Acoustic Christmas December 11 & 12 | Night One: Social Distortion My Chemical Romance Jimmy Eat World Bad Religion Cake The Dirty Heads Anberlin Switchfoot A Day to Remember The Smashing Pumpkins | Night Two: Phoenix Vampire Weekend Brandon Flowers The Black Keys Florence and the Machine Neon Trees The Temper Trap Broken Bells Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zero

31: My wallet disappeared Night Two. We realized it when we got back to the car. We drove back to Universal, searched the seats, and went to lost & found. The next day I got a Facebook message from the girl who found it!

32: Our first football season together.... | Fun Times at Shark's Cove

33: Steelers made it.. But lost the superbowl After watching 11 seasons at Shark's cove, it was the end of an era for me but a new beginning for us... | Superbowl sunday | February 6

34: February 9-10

35: Later, we fought the law and we won...sort of. | I got to meet your Big Bear crew when we went to Mammoth. I learned what it was like to party with that crowd-- wearinghats, furs, necklaces and tattoos.\ | You got a speeding ticket on our way to Mammoth. We ended up taking a day off, driving back up there and fighting the ticket. You plead guilty but they cut your ticket in half.

36: As with any good love story, ours hasn't been without challenges and bumps along the way. While we've shared fears and tears, insecurities and imperfections, one constant remained- our love and our dedication to each other, our desire that that we overcome whatever challenges we face. | Let me not to the marriage of true minds Admit impediments; love is not love Which alters when it alteration finds, Or bends with the remover to remove. O, no, it is an ever-fixed mark That looks on tempests and is never shaken; It is the star to every wand'ring bark, Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken. Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks Within his bending sickle's compass come; Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks, But bears it out even to the ede of doom. If this be error and upon me proved, I never writ, nor no man ever loved. ~William Shakespeare, Sonnet 116

37: Going the Distance | Mars & Venus | Two worlds joining | Stormy Weather

38: Valentines Day Brunch, Golfing, Sushi.

39: As winter turned to spring, we spent a day together at the Happiest Place on Earth.....

40: In April and May, we found ourselves getting into summer mode. We lost our camera (at Dave's Birthday Party) so we don't have a lot of pictures to show. We went to PA again (Marco's christening) and we started to plan our summer.

41: Dirk's birthday at Rok Sushi. What an interesting crew we were with that night.... That was the night you informed me that I was dating the white Bruce Lee and that I was (in fact) the white Chuck Norris. | Saturday, May 20

43: Memorial Day Weekend

45: Palm Springs Birthday Weekend

46: i carry your heart with me (i carry it in my heart) i am never without it (anywhere i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done by only me is your doing, my darling) i fear no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true) and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant and whatever a sun will always sing is you here is the deepest secret nobody knows (here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide) and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart) ~e.e. cummings

47: To be continued....

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